Everyday People: Petty trader talks about life after she quit being backup singer for Daasebre Dwamena

This week’s edition of Everyday People brings you the story of Adomaa, a petty trader.

In an interaction with GhanaWeb reporter, Eugenia Diabah, Adomaa shared that in her formative years, she was hopeful of becoming a musician because she loved singing.

She was lucky to have pursued her dream to a point that she became a backup singer for the late Ghanaian Highlife singer, Daasebre Dwamena, but she had to quit along the way because her grandmother did not like her profession.

After this she began engaging in petty trading to survive.

She has sold fried yam, and cooking oil, among other things with soap being the latest commodity she is selling.

According to her, life has not been easy but she is grateful that the work she does puts food on the table and earns her enough money to see her children through school.

Adomaa has found a new career aside from her trading, which is acting. She has begun to follow that path by featuring in some Ghanaian movies and is hoping that her newfound career will bring a breakthrough in her life.

Source: Ghana Web

Fidelity partners DBG, FAGE, Eco.business DF to boost export trade in Ghana

Fidelity Bank, Ghana’s largest privately-owned indigenous Bank, in conjunction with the eco.business Development Facility (the eco.business DF), Development Bank Ghana (DBG) and the Federation of Associations of Ghanaian Exporters (FAGE), has unveiled an ambitious and far-reaching export value proposition targeted at Ghanaian export-oriented businesses.

The partnership seeks to boost export trade for Ghanaian enterprises within the agricultural and non-traditional export sector.

The plan hinges majorly on the formation of the Fidelity Export Club, an initiative supported by all the export value partners which seeks to provide a common front for Ghanaian exporters and provide them with critical support in areas such as market access and expansion, capacity building, access to finance, regulatory compliance, technical assistance as well as the adoption of sustainable business practices.

Club members will also benefit from quick and stress-free application processes, flexible repayment terms and conditions, competitive interest rate charges, transaction-based lending and competitive charges.

Following the official launch of the Fidelity Export Club on Monday, August 21st 2023 after a brief Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony at the Head Office of Fidelity Bank, the partners immediately launched a nation-wide series of one-day seminars to sensitize Ghanaian exporters about critical sustainability practices in their line of business.

The series of seminars themed ‘empowering business to drive sustainable growth through compliance to regulatory and environmental principles -The Agric and Perspective’ were held in Accra, Takoradi and Sunyani on August 22nd, August 25th and August 29th respectively. The presentations, deliberations and workshop sessions focused on enhancing regulatory compliance as well as promoting sustainability and ESG practices in the agricultural and export industries.

More than 400 stakeholders from across the country’s export value chain participated in the seminar series.

They included primary producers and processors, exporters and aggregators as well as agricultural stakeholders such as experts from the Plant Protection and Regulatory Directorate (PPRD), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), GIRSAL, Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Office of the Registrar of Companies and the Ghana National Fire Service.

Through a combination of presentations, interactive panel discussions and knowledge-sharing sessions, participants at the workshop addressed how they could maximize their export products to meet the international market demand in a sustainable manner.

They also explored ways to improve overall sustainability of the entire Agric and export value chain through improved access to finance and markets, as well as capacity building on inculcating sustainability principles in their operations, and the acquisition of critical certifications such as Global G.A.P. or Fairtrade International.

Speaking on the sidelines of the seminar, Mr Julian Opuni, Managing Director of Fidelity Bank reiterated that Fidelity Bank is ever-willing to provide financial support and advisory services to local businesses and entrepreneurs within the various value chains in the Agric and export sector across the country.

He added: “Here at Fidelity, sustainability principles, as well as Environmental, Social and governance (ESG) practices, form a core, non-negotiable facet of all our business operations. ESG considerations have been embedded as a primary requirement in our credit facility approval modalities. In line with this, we are keen on liaising with our export value partners to champion the integration of ESG principles in our customers’ businesses.”

Ms. Lisa Stahl, Chairperson of the eco.business Development Facility for sub-Saharan Africa added: “We welcome the launch of the Fidelity Export Club and believe it can significantly contribute to the sustainability of Ghanaian agricultural export sector and overall economic development. We were particularly thrilled to have facilitated training for over 300 farmers and value chain actors, enabling them to champion sustainable practices that safeguard Ghana’s biodiversity, ensure responsible resource utilization, and tackle climate change impacts.”

On his part, the Deputy CEO of Development Bank Ghana, Mr. Michael Mensah-Baah emphasized DBG’s role in supporting the growth of the private sector. He said, “At DBG, our mandate is to support the growth of the private sector; we do this primarily by providing long-term funding. We however recognize that funding alone is not enough to guarantee the desired growth for our clients in the private sector that is why we engage in progressive partnerships such as this to provide a comprehensive package of funding, capacity building and technical expertise to drive the required growth of private businesses, in this case within the agro and non-traditional export sector.”

He noted that as part of its efforts to promote environmental and social governance, DBG is playing a critical role in driving climate mitigation and adaptation by providing both technical assistance and funding. He added that DBG was the first Ghanaian financial institution to become a member of the United Nations Global Compact, a body that promotes sustainability principles.

President of FAGE, Mr. Davies Narh Korboe, lauded the initiative and expressed excitement about the launch of the export club and the roll-out of the seminars and other related activities. He remarked, ‘This partnership has come at the right time as it is really critical for the non-traditional export sector. I’m particularly happy to see that the focus of this initiative is very comprehensive and covers not just the export but other key considerations on the part of the exporters such as production, regulatory compliance, advocacy and sustainability practices.’

With the inception of the Fidelity Export Club, Fidelity Bank and its partners seek to implement practical measures to harness the immense potential of the export sector in Ghana.

Source: Ghana Web

Customs rates clearing agents’ productivity at almost 80%

A principal revenue officer at the policy and programmes unit of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Smile Agbemenu has rated the productivity of clearing agents at the Ports of Ghana at almost 80%.

Speaking on Eye on Port on the relevance of freight forwarders in the era of technology, he said freight forwarders have done fairly well when it comes to the customs assessment of their operations.

He said there have been challenges with regard to wrong classification from some clearing agents which hamper trade facilitation but on the whole, their contribution to trade facilitation cannot be overemphasised.

“They have done fairly well and of course, there is room for improvement, and we will continue to do a lot of training sessions for them.

He said one of the strategic goals of the Customs division of GRA is to introduce innovative means to bring their services much closer to stakeholders, so freight forwarders don’t have to hassle in the discharge of their duties.

He lauded freight forwarders for making available enough information to customs that aids in the facilitation of business on behalf of importers.

“They are able to take advantage of the pre-arrival processes so as to get all the requirements awaiting the arrival of cargo for inspection and delivery. They have been able to provide us with accurate information and they have not been performing that badly,” he said.

Explaining the circumstances under which the license of a clearing agent can be revoked, he said a customs house agent who knowingly files or procures any false claim, and the giving of any false or misleading information in any matter pending before the Commissioner General could have his or her license suspended.

Again, “if you knowingly make any misrepresentations to procure employment in any customs business or represent to a client or prospective clients that the customs house agent can obtain any favor from the Commissioner General or any other public officer in connection with any business.”

He said a customs house agent who in dealing with his or her client makes them believe that they are able to procure any favour from the Commissioner General could also have their licenses suspended or revoked.

He added that if an agent withholds information about customs business from his or her client who is entitled to it, they can be suspended from doing customs business.

“You have to be open and transparent to your client and you need to make him know every information,” he said.

He said as part of efforts to empower freight forwarders and the trading community, Customs has enriched the clearance platform by making available a lot of information to aid customs business.

“There is so much rich information that has been made available without you logging onto the platform. We are able to engage not only physically but electronically through this platform,” he said. ??

Source: Ghana Web

ECG owes us $658 million – Bui Power Authority

The debt owed Bui Power Authority (BPA) by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has shot up astronomically from $612million to $658 million, Chief Executive Officer of the power generation company, Samuel Kofi Ahiave Dzamesi has stated.

He pointed out that the debt keeps increasing because BPA continues to generate power for ECG’s perusal.

Mr Dzamesi while speaking on GhanaWeb TV’s BizTech programme hosted by Ernestina Serwaa Asante admitted that the lack of free flow of funds and delay in payment of power by clients remain a major problem of BPA.

“The greatest problem of this company is that we generate and yet, we’re not paid for what we generate. Yeah, it’s an issue and I need to talk about it. It’s like you generate 100 units and you are paid 20 units. So what happens to the 80 units? So, if the efficiency of receivables is there, I think that we can do so much. So many times our job, though is suppose to generate more power, our job is also supposed to go and chase money, and if the money doesn’t come, that’s a very serious issue.

…So we pray that the more money we get, the more projects we undertake, and Ghana will be better for all of this,” the Bui Power Authority CEO told host of BizTech, Ernestina Serwaa Asante.

When asked about the $612 million debt owed BPA by ECG, Mr Dzamesi said, “It has gone up. Now, it is $658 million because we always generating and the more we generate, they’re supposed to pay us but if, as I said, if you generate 100 units, you are paid 20 units. So the man who’s supposed to pay you 100 units is paying only 20 units, of course every month, you’ll still be having more debts to pay. So as I speak is now around $658 million.”

He however noted that a committee – Cash Waterfall Committee – has been set up to look into the debt owed BPA, as well as, draw “a financial plan” for ECG to settle its debt.

Mr Dzamesi noted that the committee has tasked the ECG to pay an appreciable amount of money to BPA at least every week to help clear its compounding debt.

The move, the Bui CEO said was laudable as it would help them pay the salaries of workers and invest as well.

“Recently there was a meeting. There is this Cash Waterfall Committee. Recently there was a meeting and at that meeting, it was resolved that ECG must be able to pay as some amount of money at least every week or every two weeks, and then the Ministry of Finance is supposed to top up so that at least every month we will be able to pay salaries and have enough to pay for our investments and this new arrangement started just to the first of August, so we’re praying that it will continue like that,” Mr Dzamesi said on BizTech.

He added that, “I’m beginning to see some positive signs and I know our minister is working very hard to ensure get more funds.”

It would be recalled that in April this year, it was reported that ECG owed the managers of the Bui Generating Station more than $612 million.

Expressing disappointment in the inability of ECG to pay the authority, Mr Dzamesi indicated that almost 99 percent of the power produced was sold to the ECG.

This, he said, was the major problem confronting the operations of the 404 Megawatts (MW) dam situated in the Banda District of the Bono Region.

Source: Ghana Web

Cedi sells at GH¢11.65 to $1, GH¢11.07 on BoG interbank as of September 18

The Interbank forex rates from the Bank of Ghana today, September 18, 2023, have shown that the Ghana Cedi is trading against the dollar at a buying price of 11.0653 and a selling price of 11.0763.

At a forex bureau in Accra, the dollar is being bought at a rate of 11.45 and sold at a rate of 11.65.

Against the Pound Sterling, the Cedi is trading at a buying price of 13.7209 and a selling price of 13.7358.

At a forex bureau in Accra, the pound sterling is being bought at a rate of 14.35 and sold at a rate of 14.85.

The Euro is trading at a buying price of 11.8101 and a selling price of 11.8208.

At a forex bureau in Accra, the Euro is being bought at a rate of 12.10 and sold at a rate of 12.60.

The South African Rand is trading at a buying price of 0.5804 and a selling price of 0.5809.

At a forex bureau in Accra, the South African Rand is being bought at a rate of 0.35 and sold at a rate of 0.95.

The Nigerian Naira is trading at a buying price of 69.3482 and a selling price of 69.4385.

At a forex bureau in Accra, Nigerian Naira is being bought at a rate of 11.00 Naira for every 1 Cedi and sold at a rate of 16.00.

For the CFA, it is trading at a buying price of 55.4918 and a selling price of 55.5420.

At a forex bureau in Accra, CFA is being bought at a rate of 16.50 CFA for every 1 Cedi and sold at a rate of 20.50 CFA for every 1 Cedi.

Source: Ghana Web

Cocoa Artisans Association laud government over upcoming policy to boost cocoa value addition

The Cocoa Value Addition Artisans Association of Ghana (COVAAAGH) has lauded the government for its upcoming visionary and transformative policy initiative aimed at providing cocoa beans to indigenous cocoa value addition and chocolate manufacturing enterprises.

Under the said policy, the government aims to facilitate the direct supply of premium Ghana cocoa beans to indigenous small-scale cocoa processing and manufacturing enterprises, while empowering them to produce high-quality cocoa-based products for the domestic and export markets.

In a statement issued by the Association and sighted by GhanaWeb Business, it said the move will not only bolster the domestic cocoa value chain, but also promote economic growth, job creation, while increasing Ghana’s share of the global cocoa and chocolate industry valued at $130 billion.

“COVAAAGH believes the Cocoa Marketing Company’s current 50-metric tonnes minimum threshold for the purchase of cocoa beans remains prohibitive to Ghana’s burgeoning artisanal cocoa value addition industry,” the statement signed by its President, George Adjei Bekoe, read.

It added that, “In light of the current lack of direct access to cocoa beans, our local small scale manufacturing enterprises are forced to source semi-finished raw material from the Free Zones cocoa processing companies at exorbitant prices which include import duty, levies and taxes amounting to over 59%.”

The Association further called on the government to expedite the implementation of this strategic move to harness the many potential impacts it portends for the Ghanaian economy, while urging the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to remain poised for the implementation of this policy.

Source: Ghana Web

Access Bank Ghana invests in creative arts industry- Premieres ‘All Walks of Life’

Access Bank Ghana has premiered its award-winning online TV series, “All Walks of Life,” a captivating film at the Silverbird cinema in Accra. This is in line with the Bank’s strategic intent of changing the narrative about Africa through the promotion of Ghanaian creative talents across Africa and beyond.

The premiere of the innovative masterpiece by Access Bank Ghana brought together distinguished personalities including Nana Osafo Adjei, the Special Adviser and Project Coordinator at the Ghana Tourism Development Project who represented the Minister of Tourism Dr. Ibrahim Muhammed Awal, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Film Industry, Juliet Asante, Adjetey Anang, cherished customers, management, and staff of the Bank.

Speaking on the Bank’s commitment to nurturing local talents to compete in the international market, Managing Director of Access Bank Ghana, Olumide Olatunji, said the nation’s tourism industry will flourish when the creative arts industry in Ghana is financially supported to project the remarkable talents of Ghanaians and Africa as a whole.

He emphasized that “All Walks of Life” vividly portrayed how Access Bank’s financial inclusion strategy embraces individuals from all backgrounds and urged everyone to join the Access Bank family.

Nana Osafo Adjei and Juliet Asante commended Access Bank for taking a pioneering role in supporting the creative arts industry from the corporate perspective.

They called on other corporates to follow in Access Bank’s footsteps, highlighting that such initiatives provide an invaluable platform to showcase their products and achieve the coveted top-of-mind awareness in the corporate world.

Also commenting on the premiere, Executive Director for Retail and Digital Banking, Pearl Nkrumah said, ‘All Walks of Life’ reflects Access Bank Ghana’s unwavering commitment to promoting creativity and Africa’s rich cultural heritage, while driving financial inclusion.

The premiere received acclamation from Access Bank Ghana’s cherished customers as they expressed their excitement about the innovative endeavour and anticipated future episodes.

With a steady rise in internet penetration at the peak of the novel global health crisis, Access Bank found an innovative way to entertain the public while fostering bonding among families and promoting Ghanaian creativity. This online tv series by Access Bank was adjudged Best Corporate Brand Series at the 2021 Ghana Movie Awards.

With a strong commitment to the development of the creative arts industry, Access Bank Ghana seeks to empower individuals from all backgrounds to promote their creative talents to impact the economy.

Operating from 18 countries in Africa, Asia, the United Kingdom, and France and 700 branches and service outlets across the globe, Access Bank continues to deliver exceptional services and ensures good customer service through its people and culture.

Source: Ghana Web

Businesses at Tema, Takoradi ports at risk due to GRA, Customs taskforce – TAGG

The Trades Advocacy Group Ghana, (TAGG) has asked the government to stop officials of the Ghana Revenue Authority from allegedly extorting money from their members.

According to the group, the institution of a task force, to clamp down on importers who falsify documents to evade taxes is not helping businesses but instead leading to loss of capital.

Speaking at a press briefing on September 18, 2023, the General Secretary of TAGG, Emmanuel Nana Opoku Acheampong said: “Why is the GRA office now deploring various forms of intimidation and threat-making in the name of raising tax and duty revenue for the government while simultaneously imposing and depriving traders of their capital to satisfy its demands given that traders haven’t violently resisted authorities.”

He added that an assessment of the tenure of the GRA Commissioner has shown that the impact of various decisions taken has had more negative impact than positive on traders.

Nana Opoku Acheampong said: “It is beyond belief to evaluate the current leadership of the GRA Commissioner General, the Commissioner Customs division, and the Domestic Tax Commissioner given the numerous policy interventions during their term of office, both good and bad, and the bad impact on traders is more extreme within the final four years of this government. In the case of the Ghanaian trading community.”

The agitations of the group have stemmed from the GRA’s recent resolve to institute task forces to ensure that importers do not collude with companies to falsify trade documents with the aim of evading taxes.

The business community has therefore not received the news with open arms since they believe the officials will use this as a platform for extortion.

Source: Ghana Web